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“I paint the Kaalpa area. That’s my grandfather’s Country. When I paint it makes me feel right.”

– Robina Clause

Kaalpa is a place of great cultural significance, is also referred to as Well 23 on the Canning Stock Route. It is a good hunting place as there is permanent kapi.

This painting portrays physical elements of Martu Country, such as the dominant tali (sandhills), warta (trees, vegetation), and water sources. Rock holes, waterholes, soaks and springs were all extremely important sites for Martu people during the pujiman (nomadic bush) era, with many important jukurrpa (dreamtime stories) chronicling the creation of these landmarks. In the past the Martu lived nomadically, moving from water source to water source, and hunting and gathering bush tucker as they went. They would traverse very large distances annually, visiting specific areas in the dry and wet season depending on the availability of water. As they travelled and hunted they would also burn areas of country creating a larger diversity of plant and animal life.

Name: Robina Clause

Language: Manyjilyjarra


 "I was born in Newman, 1990. I'm the fourth one of seven- three brothers and three sisters. Mum is from Jigalong, and Dad from Wiluna. Mum's Manyjilyjarra, and I'm Manyjilyjarra, same like mum. I was growing up mainly in Newman, and [Aboriginal communities] Punmu, Jigalong, and 33 (Kunawarritji, Canning Stock Route Well 33).  

I started painting, I been learning by sitting down and watching [my siblings and fellow Martumili Artists Corban Clause Williams and Tamisha Williams] Bamba and Tammy, watching and learning. I was thinking I want to become like an artist like my sisters and brother. Every morning I go to the art centre and paint. I paint my grandfather's land, Kaalpa (Kalypa, Canning Stock Route Well 23). I learned about Kaalpa by watching Bamba. (Here Corban explains "The old people were telling me 'Kaalpa's your grandfather's Country, you gotta paint it. They told me about it. We went out there with KJ (Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa) when we were looking for the [Greater] Bilby. They took me and Tamisha, they showed us our grandfather's Country, Well 23. I went out there, had a good look, walked around, and went back to Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25), Parnngurr, and I started painting it. Now it's my mind, now I know what Kaalpa looks like. I went back to Martumili and I started telling Robina about the waterholes, jurnu. One walypala (whitefella) well, and a real kalyu (water) there, jurnu (soak). The Seven Sisters landed there, Jukurrpa (Dreaming). That man Yurla yapu (hill, stone, rock) there." [Yurla, who chased the Seven Sisters during the Jukurrpa remains at Kaalpa in the form of a rock])

Painting keeps me busy, keeps my mind fresh. I've gotta do more paintings so I can travel around with Martumili, do an exhibition- see my paintings on the wall."

- Robina Clause with brother Corban Clause Williams

© the artist / art centre